Beneficiary Deed

August 1, 2014 8:19 pm, Published by



A Beneficiary Deed is used to transfer an owner’s interest in real property to another person or entity – often a trust – upon the property owner’s death.  A beneficiary deed is an easy and inexpensive estate planning tool, but the timing is crucial. 

Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 33-405, a Beneficiary Deed is only valid if the deed is executed and recorded in the county recorder where the property is located before the death of the owner.  Additionally, a beneficiary deed may be revoked at any time by the owner, but to be effective, the revocation must be executed and recorded as provided by law in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the real property is located before the death of the owner who executes the revocation. 

I recently learned of a situation in which the owner of a property had recorded a beneficiary deed in favor of her son.  She later revoked the beneficiary deed and designated that the property would go to both her son and her daughter, but the revocation was not recorded until after the mother had passed away, which made the revocation ineffective. 

The failure to record the revocation before the mother passed away negated her intent and resulted in her daughter losing the right to claim her half interest in the property.  It is crucial that when a beneficiary deed or a revocation of a beneficiary deed is executed, it must be recorded immediately.

Breen Olson & Trenton has substantial experience in estate planning matters to help avoid just such a situation.  Call us if we may be of service to you.   

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